Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Gambia in the U-17 World Cup

In the U-17 FIFA World Cup in Peru, we have now reached the semi-finals, which look like the following:

  • Turkey-Brazil
  • Netherlands-Mexico

Brazil-Turkey should in particular be an interesting match, as Brazil are defending champions, and Turkey has played marvellously.

However, there is something more interesting that happened in the first round to the African champions from Gambia (whom I do not have the greatest sympathy with because of how they won the African Cup):
After defeating Brazil and Qatar in their first two matches, African Champions from Gambia were only a step away from the quarterfinals before their last match against the Netherlands. Gambia lost the game 2-0, and was out on goal difference.
But prior to the final match, the Gambians had displayed true fanaticism in the match against Qatar. To support the team, the Gambian president decided to send 300 fans in a specially chartered plane from Gambia to Peru. Apparently the planning was not too good… The match was being played in Piura, many kilometres from Lima, and in order to get to the stadium, the plane decided to fake an emergency landing in Piura (which has no international airport), in order to get to the game.
The fans did get to watch the match though, while the plane apparently was impounded to the airport in Lima.
After hearing this story, I was considering to nominate the Gambians as the biggest football-fanatics or not. But I must say that such a daring act of stupid football fanaticism must deserve a nomination!

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